Residents 12 km southeast of the City of Cold Lake were notified of a sweet gas well blowout that occurred last Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
“At this time there is absolutely no threat to public health or to the environment from the release of the gas,” said Bob Curran, an Energy Resources Conservation (ERCB) spokesperson, in a phone interview Monday morning.
“We're satisfied that they're doing everything they can,” he said.
The well is licensed to CNRL, which brought in three mobile and 12 stationary air monitoring units to check for air quality. Small amounts of sweet gas escaped into the atmosphere, which is not considered a threat to public safety.
“The release intensity has been continuously decreasing,” said Bill Clapperton, vice president of regulatory and environmental affairs for CNRL. Clapperton expects the well to be capped off today.
“We're working closely with the ERCB and the situation is being managed. We hope to have the situation totally under control tomorrow,” he said on Monday.
CNRL tried unsuccessfully to stop the flow by pumping fluid down the well bore on Thursday. Clapperton expected the drilling of a second well to be completed Monday, which would be used to pump fluid into the formation to stop the flow of gas to the surface.
Sweet gas does not contain hydrogen sulphide, found in sour gas, which is potentially lethal in very small quantities. Sweet gas is the same as what would be burned in a furnace, but without the additive that gives an odour to natural gas.